How To Clean A Washing Machine

How To Clean A Washing Machine

Learn all our tips for how to clean a washing machine.

It’s designed to turn dirty clothes and linen to fresh and fab – but what happens if the actual washing machine itself is dirty? ‘Doing laundry’ is often regarded as one of the least favourite household chores, so it’s easy to understand why cleaning the insides of a washing machine is forgotten.

Mildew, bacteria, laundry detergent, and other undesirable substances can build up in a washing machine over time, so it’s important to thoroughly clean it. Not only can bad odours emerge due to lack of maintenance, but the backlog of scum can pos a problem for anyone who uses the appliance.

So what’s the ​​best way to clean a washing machine? Just once every couple of months is all it takes to have a clean and fresh-smelling appliance. Here’s one simple way to get the job done using two natural cleaning ingredients found in the home.

Please note: Check the user manual before following any cleaning tips, as all washing machines are different.

How to clean a top or front loader washing machine using baking soda and vinegar

For a top loader, all that’s needed is around half a cup of baking soda and two cups of white vinegar. For a front loader, two tablespoons of baking soda and two cups of white vinegar is ideal.

How to clean a top loader washing machine using baking soda and white vinegar

  • Choose the hottest washing cycle and let the washing machine fill up with water

  • Whilst the water is filling up pour 2 cups of white vinegar into it

  • Let the washing cycle start and let it agitate for 1 minute

  • Add in half a cup of baking soda into the water

  • Turn off the washing machine and let the solution sit for an hour

  • Turn the washing machine back on, and run through a long cycle

  • Finally, let the water drain and then run another cycle with just warm water

How to clean a front loader washing machine using baking soda and vinegar

  • Mix half a cup of water and ¼ cup baking soda into a small bowl

  • Add the solution to the detergent container of the washing machine

  • Pour 2 cups of vinegar into the drum

  • Close the door and set the washing machine to a normal load at the hottest water setting

  • Start the cycle and let it run its full course

Fortunately, it is very easy to remove smells and clean a washing machine by using baking soda and white vinegar. You might get put off by using white vinegar due to its strong smell, however, when mixed with baking soda it is rather odourless. It is not only a natural way of cleaning a washing machine, but a relatively inexpensive exercise. Baking soda and white vinegar can be safely used to clean whole host of appliances around the home, including oven door glass, dishwashers and even mould from ceilings.

Natural vs Traditional cleaning products for cleaning a washing machine

Sometimes, store-bought cleaning products aren’t always the best or safest option for cleaning a washing machine. In many cases, these products contain chemicals that can contribute to the development of mildew inside a washing machine. Natural cleaning products are also generally more affordable and convenient, as they are most likely already used in the home for other purposes.

Maintaining a washing machine between cleans

After cleaning the washing machine thoroughly, there’s a few things that can be done to ensure that there will be less effort required each time. Here are a few things to remember:

  • After each load of washing, leave the lid/door open to allow any trapped air, water or smells to leave

  • Don’t forget to wipe down the exterior of the machine, as well as the buttons and screens with a warm rag using a vinegar solution

  • If the machine is a front loader, wipe down the rubber seals on the door

  • If the detergent dispenser is removable, soak them in the sink or place in the dishwasher

As is always the case with cleaning any appliances, it is a good idea to test the solution on an inconspicuous patch to ensure it won’t damage any part of the machine. If in doubt, refer to the washing machine manual for further information.

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